Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How to Save Even More When Shopping Online

I admit it.  I do most of my Christmas shopping online.  With all the deals and extra discounts, I can generally do better than shopping in the stores with the added benefits of no crowds, no standing in long lines, and saving gas money.  There are some tricks to getting the greatest savings, though, and I thought I would share them with you.
  • Always use Ebates as your starting point when shopping online.  This way, you will earn cash back on your purchases.  Just sign up with an account with them and start all your shopping from their page, which has a directory of online store links.  Ebates offers cash back on most every place I have shopped online this year.  Whether it is 4% or 10% or more cash back, it all adds up to a nice check in the mail for me later.   They also list many discount codes the stores offer at the time.
  • Do a coupon code search for the store you are shopping at.  There are sites out there that list coupons (RetailMeNot.com, CouponChief.com and others) but I prefer to just do a search, e.g. "Kohls Coupon Codes."  This will bring up any store codes that are out there for additional discounts or free shipping.
  • Consider using a Discover Card this shopping season for online shopping.  They are offering 5% cash back on all online shopping up to $1500 right now.
  • Watch for items to go on sale.  If it is not on sale yet and you don't urgently need it, check back.  Most likely it will be marked on sale at some point.
I had been wanting a heated mattress pad.  I had picked out one from J.C. Penney for $125.  I waited to purchase it till I saw it was on sale last night for $87, a significant savings.  I headed over to the Ebates page and saw that I would get 8% cash back, bringing the price down to $80.04.  Shipping was free to my house.  I did a quick search of coupons, but the only one I turned up was one for free shipping, but since they were already offering that, I didn't need to use it.  I proceeded to use my Discover Card, getting $4.35 back in cash, making the final price $75.69 after discounts and cash back.  That is a total savings of nearly $50!  The thing about it is that if I went directly to J.C. Penney's to purchase it, I would have paid $11.61 more!  Not to mention that I would have to lug it through the store, out to my car, and into the house.  I like the idea of the man in brown just dropping it at my door step!

Oh, and one more bonus, I signed up for J.C. Penney Rewards.  By spending $100 in a month, I will get a $10 reward.  I had already spent $13 this month, so I will get a J.C. Penney $10 reward certificate--woo hoo!

Disclosure:  This post contains an affiliate link to Ebates.


Mellisa Rock said...

WOW - that's a lot of savings! I need to make a list of the things I need to buy and start doing some research!

Kathryn S said...

I've done most of my shopping this year online and have found it to be the best way to shop. So far, I've saved round $200 and spent only $75 on 8 Christmas Gifts from Finishline.com, aeropostale.com and kohls.com

I always shop clearance first and shop at sites that offer discounts and free shipping. I also use eBates and recently started shopping Kohl's to get their Kohl's Cash.

Another shopping tip:

Keep watch on sites like Snapfish, Vistaprint, Shutterfly, and other photo sites. They are always offering FREE personalized calendars or photo books. These make awesome gifts and usually you only have to pay shipping. The most I've paid is around $12 shipping for a calendar I customized for my Mom's Birthday filled with photos of her grandkids. Earlier this year I customized a 20 page 5x7 photo book for my wedding photos and paid only $7 shipping.

Create a google email account to get all your store email subscriptions. I frequently check those for special discounts and deals. Sometimes you can get exclusive deals that only email subscribers get.

Sorry about the long comment... I thought your post was great and couldn't resist sharing.

Happy Shopping Everyone!

Petula Wright said...

Yes, I do a lot of what you do as well. I start with ebates sometimes and then other times I start with Swagbucks. I use my Kohl's cash and now I'm gonna have to be more consistent with searching for the codes on RetailMeNot. A lot of times when I search there aren't any. I've started sticking to the stores that I know where you can always find a code. Good post.

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